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Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap (the ‘Roadmap’) is an enduring strategy to accelerate the development and commercialisation of new and emerging low emissions technologies.

Key milestones of the Roadmap process are annual Low Emissions Technology Statements (the ‘Statement‘) that will prioritise low emissions technologies with the potential to deliver the strongest economic and emissions reduction outcomes for Australia.

As we recover from COVID-19, the Roadmap will prioritise investments in new and emerging technologies that support jobs and economic recovery.

In May 2020, the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction published a discussion paper outlining the key stages of the Roadmap and commencing a survey of new and emerging technologies (Figure 1).[1]

Figure 1: The Technology Investment Roadmap

Ministerial Reference Panel

A Ministerial Reference Panel, chaired by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, and comprising industry, private investment, government and research leaders was established to advise the Minister in the preparation of the first Low Emissions Technology Statement. Recognising the Panel’s ongoing role in supporting future Statements, the Panel will be formalised into a permanent Technology Investment Advisory Council.

Ministerial Reference Panel members

  • Dr Alan Finkel, Chair
    Australia’s Chief Scientist
  • Drew Clarke
    Chair of the Board, Australian Energy Market Operator and Board Member, CSIRO
  • Shemara Wikramanayake
    Managing Director and CEO, Macquarie Group
  • Ben Wilson
    CEO, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group
  • Grant King
    Former President of the Business Council of Australia
  • Alison Watkins
    Group Managing Director, Coca-Cola Amatil
  • Jo Evans
    Deputy Secretary, Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

Consultation

The discussion paper opened a national conversation about Australia’s future in a low emissions global economy. The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources received around 500 written submissions and over 150 businesses, researchers, community organisations and associations participated in targeted industry workshops chaired by Dr Finkel, with participation by other members of the Ministerial Reference Panel. More than 400 people attended an online webinar led by Dr Finkel and several other Panel members.

A clear message from this outreach was that Australian industry, researchers and the broader community are ready to accelerate the development and commercialisation of low emissions technology to maintain and expand Australia’s economic prosperity. Stakeholders want to capture the opportunities of the global low emissions economy, while ensuring that our existing industries remain strong.

Australia has world-leading capabilities in several energy and emissions-intensive manufacturing industries, including aluminium, steel, chemicals, cement, building materials, pulp & paper and glass manufacturing. Preserving and strengthening those capabilities through the adoption of lower emissions technologies presents enormous opportunities for Australia, but must be approached in a way that maintains international competitiveness.

Manufacturing Australia

A technology-led approach involving a partnership between industry and government will be central to ensuring our heavy industry is well placed to prosper in a future carbon constrained global economy.

Energy Users Association of Australia

The first Low Emissions Technology Statement

This first, annual Low Emissions Technology Statement identifies Australia’s big technology challenges and opportunities, priority low emissions technologies, and economic stretch goals.

The Statement also articulates the comprehensive investment framework that will guide technology investment agencies (ARENA, the CEFC and the CER) towards the Roadmap’s priorities. For the first time, the investment framework includes rigorous impact evaluation that will ensure measurable outcomes from our investments.

The Statement’s impact will be broader than the Government’s direct investments through ARENA, the CEFC and the CER. The Statement will signal the Government’s low emissions technology investment priorities to the broader research community, including CSIRO, CRCs and Australia’s universities, as well as to industry, investors and community leaders. The Roadmap and Statement complement other emissions reduction policies including the National Hydrogen Strategy, ARENA’s Bioenergy Roadmap, the Critical Minerals Strategy, AEMO’s Integrated System Plan, the National Waste Policy and Action Plan, the National Energy Productivity Plan, and Future Fuels Strategy (Figure 3).

State deals will also be guided by Roadmap priorities. The bilateral deal with NSW in January 2020 is the first of a series of agreements between the Australian Government and state and territory governments. These bilateral agreements will deliver initiatives to increase the supply of electricity and gas, improve grid security and reduce emissions.

…over the long term, Australia’s technology investments should build new export-facing industries in the global low emissions economy.

National Farmers Federation

The Roadmap and first Low Emissions Technology Statement will be the cornerstone of the Long Term Emissions Reduction Strategy Australia will take to COP26 in Glasgow.

Figure 3: Technology deployment to complement other strategies which lower long-term emissions

Footnote

[1] Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources 2020, Australia’s Technology Investment Roadmap: Discussion Paper

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